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Posted by Mac1 on 14 March 2016.

This is my first time in sharing in this way. I have a 23 year old son who is struggling with the consumption of alcohol. He has had a very stressful year, having lost his house and his fiance due to his issues with alcohol although he struggles to accept this. He goes for short periods where he can abstain but then binges considerably. He is starting to accept that he has a problem relating his depressive moods to the use of alcohol rather than drinking because he is depressed. He has mentioned in the last week about attending an AA meeting. He has considerable mood swings and its like living in a mine field. I am struggling to know how to support him, knowing that I can not do it for him and its something he has to do/want for himself. he is managing to work and seems to be enjoying it one minute and hates it the next. He spends money recklessly with no consideration for the consequences. I fell helpless, sad, angry and embarrassed. I am at my wits end to know what to do for the best. I am unable to share with members of the family because I dont want their perception of him to change.


14 Mar 2016

You are not alone hun, there are so many parents whose kids are addicted ,whether it's alcohol, drugs etc. I felt exactly the same when i found out...I didn't want anyone to know. It took me a few years to come to terms with his addictions,Find out as much as I could about it, and the biggest thing was to stop enabling ....that meant no handing over money, locking away valuables, and never under estimating his manipulation. The biggest thing is he must want it...and that's the hard part. We can support our kids, but just don't make it easy for them..and I say that with a heavy heart, because even after my son nearly died through his addiction, the light bulb still didn't go on for him....he does just enough to get by, so I'm now at the point that until he really wants it, I will take a back seat and love him from afar....stand tall, set boundaries, and stick to them...and stop feeling embarrassed...this is his addiction not yours...let him own it! Sending hugs x

15 Mar 2016

Thank you. It's just so hard. I'm trying to stay strong but so tearful. 'Hiding' it from the family is really difficult. I understand what you say about enabling and have to admit that has been a problem before as I have wanted to help him when he has got in to trouble with money. That has to stop as its now thousands of pounds. But he's my little boy and I struggle to understand why. Hoping that he is realising it is a real problem and will seek professional guidance and support.

16 Mar 2016

Your doing the right thing, by finding out, asking for help etc....a very good friend who I met on a group similar to this gave me wake up call,when she said this.." Your child is not a child, but an adult...and as adults we have consequences when we make bad decisions...why is your adult son any different." ? And she was right....up until that point, we had set him up with his own place, paid his bills, helped him with shopping, clothes etc....a bottomless pit as far as he was concerned,not to mention the abuse if he couldn't get his own way, the phone calls for the whys...I still don't know, other than I now know his triggers, when he's going to relapse....I don't think thry know son tends to self medicate when things get too much....until he really wants to change the cycle, I'm resigned to the fact..... Educate yourself , get smart, and learn to say no...set boundaries if he's living with you and stick to them hun.....I hope ive helped, and I truly hope he gets help xxx

Icarus Trust
22 Mar 2016

Hi Mac,
I know this is very hard for  you and it must tear you up trying to make sense of it all. I work for a charity called The Icarus Trust that supports the families and friends of people with addictions. If you feel it would be helpful to talk with one of our experienced trained volunteers please get in touch.
It may help you to talk through things with someone who will understand what you are going through and help you to see the way ahead.
 You can contact us on or visit the website
Good luck.

22 Mar 2016

Thank you. I have already made contact with the Trust. My son is on Day 4 of abstinence. One day at a time.

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